16th Sunday (B) Liturgy
Greetings (see second reading)
Jesus came to bring the good news of peace: peace to those who are far away and peace to you who are close-by. May that peace be always with you. R/ And also with you.
Introduction by the Celebrant
A. God, Compassionate Like a Mother
What a pity if our world would become so heartless as to do away with compassion, with pity! We hear today's Good News that God cares for us with a love deeper and even more tender than that of a mother for the child to which she gave life. He is particularly close to those who need him most: the weak, those who suffer, those who count for nothing. That is the love he showed us in Jesus; that is the love he invites us to have for each other: deep, tender, lasting, not afraid of showing itself. Let us ask Jesus here with us in the Eucharist for such a compassionate and committed love.
B. A Shepherd Who Cares
There are times when we understand instinctively that a person is very close to us, that he or she understands us and feels with us, even if few words are said. This is how Jesus was one with the people, one of them, feeling with them, seeing their needs without having to be told, also the hidden needs, the needs of the heart. This is how Jesus feels about us. The gospel expresses this in the image of Jesus as the shepherd who cares. We are gathered here around him and entrust ourselves to him. May we learn from him to care for one another.
Lord Jesus, you loved people and you still love all of us with a warm, understanding love: Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.Jesus Christ, you know what we need most: a word of acceptance and encouragement, a gesture of forgiveness and affection: Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you can make us like yourself: compassionate and healing, generous and merciful: Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
May we bring the forgiveness and mercy which the Lord has shown us to all those we meet. May the Lord lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.
Let us entrust ourselves and all those dear to us to our compassionate God (PAUSE) Our loving God, your Son Jesus has revealed you to us as more tender, warmhearted and compassionate than any mother could ever be. Be near to all who are wounded in life, care for all the little people trampled upon. Make all those who follow your Son people who can forgive and heal, who make themselves nourishing bread for all who are hungry in any way. Make us care for one another as you care for us through Jesus, your Son and our Lord for ever and ever. R/ Amen.
Liturgy of the Word
Introduction to the First Reading: In Search of a True Shepherd The leaders of Israel have been bad shepherds, says Jeremiah. But God will give his people a good shepherd, the Messiah.
Introduction to the Second Reading: Christ Our Peace Through Christ's blood, both Jesus and pagans become God's people of the covenant; in this way enemies are reconciled.
Gospel Introduction: Jesus' Heart Went Out to the Leaderless People When he and his disciples needed some days off for rest, Jesus could not close his heart to the leaderless people who searched for him. As a shepherd he nourished them with his word.
Let us pray to our patient, merciful God that compassion may never disappear from our world, and let us say: R/ Have mercy on your people, Lord.- Lord, we pray you for a compassionate Church that is lenient and patient with those who err, a Church which gives them the time and the help to repent, and so we ask you: R/ Have mercy on your people, Lord.
- Lord, we pray you to give to your Church compassionate shepherds who show something of your patience and mercy in the sacrament of reconciliation, and so we ask you: R/ Have mercy on your people, Lord.
- Lord, we pray you for a compassionate society that cares for the needy, tries to do away with unjust structures and makes its laws and courts bring justice to all without any discrimination, and so we ask you: R/ Have mercy on your people, Lord.
- Lord, we pray to make us compassionate people, who bring your mercy and love to the sick and the aged, to widows and orphans, to the discouraged and the dying, we pray you: R/ Have mercy on your people, Lord.
- Lord, make us compassionate communities, who, like you, see and feel the needs of people without being asked; who try gently and unobtrusively to lighten the burdens of those who suffer, and so we ask you: R/ Have mercy on your people, Lord.
- Lord, be compassionate and patient with us when we have sinned and restore us, we ask you: R/ Have mercy on your people, Lord.
You are a God attentive to the needs and the happiness of people. Let your Spirit give us hearts full of compassion, like the shepherd's heart of Jesus, your Son, who lives with you for ever. Amen.
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God, compassionate Father, in these signs of bread and wine we welcome your Son Jesus Christ as our Good Shepherd who died for us to give direction to our lives. Reassure us that he is familiar with our weariness and miseries, that he listens when we turn to him, that he is present when we need him. For he is our Lord and Shepherd now and for ever. Amen
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
Through and with Jesus, our Good Shepherd, let us thank our Father in heaven for caring for us and guiding us through his Son.
Introduction to the Lord's Prayer
God is a Father who cares. Full of trust, we pray to him with Jesus, our Good Shepherd: R/ Our Father...
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil and grant us peace in our day. Keep us from drifting about without aim. Gather us together and make us shepherds to one another, as we wait in joyful hope for the coming in glory of our Shepherd and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...
Greeting of Peace
Jesus is our peace with the Father and with one another. May his peace be always with you.
Invitation to CommunionThis is Jesus, our Good Shepherd, who knows us by name and who gave his life for us. He gathers us together and gives us his body to eat to keep us united as his one people. Happy are we to be invited to the table of the Lord. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...
Prayer of Trust (F. Cromphout)
By way of thanksgiving, the following prayer of trust could be prayed by all if it is in the people's leaflet; otherwise it is read slowly by the leader. After it, the celebrant concludes with the Prayer after Communion.
God, you are always greater than we dare to expect. You do new and unheard things. When the world crumbles around us, you make a new creation. Make us attentive to your action in these times, that we may not stand still to stare at the things of the past, and not seek you where you are not to be found. Go ahead of us, you who are our future. Help us to seek new ways to you and to one another and to hold on to each other in all our uncertainties. Give us the firm assurance that your power is still active today and that you keep renewing the world through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Prayer after Communion
Our God and Father, we thank you with all our hearts for giving us a sure guide, someone who knows where he leads us, your Son Jesus Christ. Keep giving to your Church today pastors in the image of your Son. Let them be full of compassion and vision, sensitive to people and their needs, open to the demands and potentials of the gospel and of our times. Let them be true shepherds by the power of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A world without pity or compassion is a world with little room for God. May our communities reflect the compassion of Jesus our Lord; make us attentive to each other's needs, both material and spiritual, for God has entrusted us to one another. May the kind and merciful God bless you all: the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.
Go, follow the Lord, and be responsible for one another. R/ Thanks be to God.